I checked out Girl in the Spider’s Web last night. This is the fifth iteration of a Lisbeth Salander story with the third actress playing her. Initially it was Noomi Rapace who played her in the original European trilogy, based upon the Stieg Larsson books. He died in 2004 of a heart attack, before they became printed and published novels as well as later the movies. Later the US remake had Rooney Mara ably take up the Lisbeth role, combined with Daniel Craig as writer Nyqvist, in a remake of the initial Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film. Finally there is Claire Foy of The Crown fame reprising the role in a new story made from the original trilogy.
A whole article could be written about the various Lisbeths but I have reviewed the other movies before and I won’t do so again. If you want, do a search on them. In short I preferred the European versions. I really like Claire Foy, and I think she was an excellent Young Queen Elizabeth. She has an expressive face and says a lot with saying anything at all. Her eyes and facial expressions shows her inner turmoil and tension so well. Lisbeth Salander is a challenging role for anyone, as the character is an introvert and goth, with special abilities. She is a technology guru as well as accomplished motorcycle rider. Foy has the least amount of nudity with the three portrayals for those who count.
This story starts with a dramatic scene which is shown on the trailer with a man apologizing to his Wife, laying crumpled on the shiny dining room floor after clearly another savage beating. Lisbeth appears with the wings of an angel statue behind her as she exacts retribution on this deserving soul. She knows how to get payback, and she is the protector and vigilante for those women who don’t get justice from the System.
After this sequence, she is invited to help reclaim a technological item which has been taken by the owner. I hadn’t ever thought of her as a gun for hire, or someone who could be approached by some unknown third party. It is out of character. She delivers, but then has things happen which complicates her life. She reaches back out to Nyqvist, who has very little to do. They acted more as collaborators or partners previously but this is more of a solo effort, with a sidekick. There are some family issues at play and some thugs that seem to always show up. In the end, there are characteristics which I think are meant to soften Lisbeth, but it doesn’t really work. It seems out of place. There is a moment or two where the level of disbelief has to go off the scale, and it fails for me. Case in point where after being in a scuffle she manages to take some readily available prescription medicine which couldn’t have been obvious what it was to assist her. Ah…….no.
So in summary I know that this didn’t have a great box office run. I can understand why. The edgy Lisbeth is mellowed a bit, and the story doesn’t really flow well with what transpired from the past episodes. So I wouldn’t be recommending this film, however much I do like Claire Foy and look for her in more films (like First Man) but where she can be more at the forefront.